Published: 08 Feb 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
Signing the partnership, from right; Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Andrews Boateng, Registrar, and Professor Sahr Philipson Gbanmanja, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Fourah Bay College
The Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK) under the World Bank African Centre of Excellence (ACE) Project has signed a partnership agreement with Fourah Bay College of the University of Sierra Leone. The partnership enjoins ACE to engage universities in the sub-region to equally strengthen their human resource capacity in Water and Sanitation. The partnership will ensure that the University of Sierra Leone benefits from funded Masters and PhD training, tailor-made short courses, faculty exchange and joint research with staff of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The objective of the ACE project is to promote regional specialization among participating universities in the areas that address regional developmental challenges and strengthen the capacities of these universities to deliver quality training and applied research. The overall development project objective is to meet the demands of the labour market for skills within specific areas where there are shortages affecting growth, economic development and poverty reduction.
Giving a background of the partnership, Professor Samuel Nii Odai, the Centre Leader of RWESCK, stated that the World Bank in 2013 signed a loan facility with the Government of Ghana to support KNUST with USD 8 million to establish the RWESCK under the ACE programme.
Prof. Nii Odai further stated that the Centre was duly established in 2014 at the College of Engineering and hosted under the Department of Civil Engineering. The core mandate of the Centre is to strengthen the human resource capacity in Ghana and the sub-region in areas related to water and environmental sanitation.
The main objectives of the academic partnership according to him are to raise the quality of research in education in institutions in the region and to raise the ACE’s capacity in research and education. He was grateful to management for allowing the Centre to host the programme.
Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, the Vice-Chancellor, was happy that through the partnership, KNUST would offer assistance to other sister institutions in Africa to build the capacity of their faculty and to contribute to their development. He was hopeful that upon completion the partner institutions will boast of world-class experts in Water Resources Engineering, Management and Climate Change, Urban and Community Water Supply (Treatment and Distribution), Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management as well as Water and Sanitation Policy, Planning and Governance.
Professor Sahr Philipson Gbanmanja, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Fourah Bay College, expressed his excitement about the partnership as currently most faculty members in the College of Engineering at Fourah Bay did not have PhDs. Professor Gbanmanja noted that the partnership was timely to help improve faculty and to build the capacity of his staff to help solve water and sanitation challenges. He was grateful to KNUST and the World Bank for complementing the efforts of the Sierra Leone Government to revamp education.
Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso and Mr. Andrews Boateng, the Registrar, signed the partnership on behalf of KNUST. Professor Gbanmanja and Ing. Obafemi Beresford Davies all signed for Fourah Bay College.